04 November, 2021

Distributism at the Catholic Economics Roundtable

The following opening statement was given at the “Catholic Economics Roundtable” livestream hosted by Michael Lofton on 23 January 2021. It can be viewed on the Reason and Theology YouTube channel[1] and is available as a podcast on The Tradistae Podcast on Podbean.[2]
 

14 October, 2021

The Breakdown of the Supply Chain

Not long ago, a cargo ship blocked a canal, causing international shipping to get backed up and a consequent shortage of supplies in many countries. As I write this, many cargo ships are gathered in the Pacific Ocean, waiting to get into the harbors for Los Angeles and Long Beach California. Apparently, there is a shortage of long distance truckers to take away the cargo already unloaded, which needs to be done to make room for the cargo on the ships that are waiting. There has been a lot of talk about the breakdown of the supply chain, but have these discussions actually addressed the real problem?

07 October, 2021

Get Woke, Go Broke?

The phrase “Get woke, go broke,” has been around for about three years. It generally refers to the idea that businesses which acquiesce to the demands of the self-identified advocates of “wokeness” will suffer financial losses because those views are not what sells. Those who use the phrase point to Gillette's disastrous “The Best A Man Can Be” campaign, or the failure of movie and other entertainment franchises when they change popular established characters to fit the woke view, or many other examples to support their claim that wokeness just doesn't sell. They will tell you that the marketing executives foisting these changes are out of touch with the pulse of the people, and that is why getting woke inevitably means going broke. Is this claim actually true?

22 September, 2021

Subsidiarity, COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, and Testing Mandates

I would like to apologize for the delay in getting articles posted lately. There have been several factors for this. One of those will be the topic of this post. This article will consist of a series of letters between my employer and myself regarding a vaccine mandate issued by the governor of my state and my request to get a religious exemption and accommodation. I have redacted or initialized names for privacy, and removed any contact information, but the letters are otherwise as they occurred, including typos. How does this apply to distributism? It applies to the question of subsidiarity and the extent to which state (and federal) government can dictate medical procedures on individuals. 

I realize that this is a very contentious topic, especially these days, but it is an important one as many states in the US and many countries around the world are implementing restrictive policies that very few would have dreamed were possible in February of 2020. Many are saying we are rushing headlong into totalitarianism. I think we are already there.
 
I would also like to state that nothing in the following is intended to be a judgment against anyone who chose to get the vaccine, including Catholics who came to different conclusions on these matters than I did.

29 June, 2021

Where Are We Headed?


 
Western democracies like to consider themselves as the bastion of freedom, especially the United States. Even beyond that, people in Western democracies are taught and believe that Enlightenment Liberalism introduced freedom to society as never before, again, especially in the United States. Ironically, an actual examination of the pre and post revolutionary governments reveals that this was never actually true. As libertarian, John Attarian, points out, "... by every measure, our government is more tyrannical towards Americans than King George's at its worst."[1] From its beginnings, our federal government had more power to trample our freedoms than the English monarchy. As the English parliament gained more direct power over government, it also increased the power it had over the English people. While we have not (yet) gone quite as far as the Soviet Union, China, and other socialist regimes, Western democracies have relentlessly increased their totalitarian powers over their subjects. As we move further away from any form of subsidiarity dispersion of power in our societies, we should ask ourselves where we are headed.

09 June, 2021

A Road Not Taken

by Thomas Storck
 
On Sunday May 8, 1949 The New York Times published a short article entitled "Vatican Paper Assails 'Atheism' in Capitalism." Consisting of only three short paragraphs the article refers to an article just published in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and written by that paper's editor-in-chief, Count Giuseppe Dalla Torre. The Times quotes Dalla Torre that "capitalism `is atheistic in its structure: gold is its God,'" and goes on to say that the article "defines capitalism as substantially greedy and says its aim is to dominate because it is never satisfied." 

15 March, 2021

Can We Return to the "Old Normal?"

Now that we have reached the one year point of "two weeks to flatten the curve,"[1] some states in the US are starting to reopen their economies. This is considered to be a great relief for many who have struggled to maintain a living during this time. Even for those whose livelihoods were wiped out, there is a sense of relief that they can finally try to rebuild and restart a "normal" life. Their hope is that they will finally be able to return to how things were before the "lock down" started. For some, this is bringing to the surface a question that others have been asking for several months; can we return to the "old normal?" After such a great and lengthy disruption, can our lives truly get back to the way they were?
 

27 February, 2021

They Don't Really Believe in the "Free Market!"


It might be assumed that those who believe in the "free market" would be happy and supportive when people engage in that market. You might think this would especially be the case when average people engaging in the market are successful and look like they are going to make a lot of money. After all, isn’t one of the claims in defense of capitalism that anyone can succeed and that it is supposedly the first economic system that allowed people to improve their state in life? Recent events make it clear this is not the case, at least not for those who are already “big players” in the market and who wield significant economic, and therefore political, power.

18 February, 2021

On the Foundations of Distributism: Property, Family, Politics, Economy. Part 4

 
The following is the English version of part four of an article/interview by Thomas Storck, “Sui Fondamenti del Distributismo: Proprietà, Famiglia, Politica, Economia,” published in Bollettino di dottrina sociale della Chiesa, July/Sept. 2020, pp. 73-84.
 
For information on the Italian publication, see here.

11 February, 2021

LOCALISM! My thoughts on a new name.

In December, the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton[1] revealed what they propose as the new name for Distributism: Localism. This reveal was made simultaneously in the society's magazine, Gilbert, and on its podcast, Uncommon Sense. Prior to its announcement, the society did reach out to other distributists for reaction and input regarding the proposed name change. Thomas Storck and I wrote reactions that were included in the same issue of Gilbert. Adrian Alquist and I also discussed the topic on a later episode of their Uncommon Sense program, which can be found on YouTube.[2] The problem with doing a live interview is that you can go into it with certain points and statements you intend to make, and then find that the course of the conversation went in a direction where you didn't actually say something you intended. In listening to the interview, I found that this was the case for me. I agree with everything I said, but there was one thing I intended to say, but didn't.
 

06 February, 2021

On the Foundations of Distributism: Property, Family, Politics, Economy. Part 3


The following is the English version of part three of an article/interview by Thomas Storck, “Sui Fondamenti del Distributismo: Proprietà, Famiglia, Politica, Economia,” published in Bollettino di dottrina sociale della Chiesa, July/Sept. 2020, pp. 73-84.
 
For information on the Italian publication, see here.

21 January, 2021

On the Foundations of Distributism: Property, Family, Politics, Economy. Part 2


The following is the English version of part two of an article/interview by Thomas Storck, “Sui Fondamenti del Distributismo: Proprietà, Famiglia, Politica, Economia,” published in Bollettino di dottrina sociale della Chiesa, July/Sept. 2020, pp. 73-84.

For information on the Italian publication, see here.

08 January, 2021

Reflecton on the US Election

In March of 2020, the United States, along with most of the rest of the world, entered a new and dark phase. It was a phase that not only revealed the ideas driving the globalist movement, but the weaknesses in the very fabric of modern societies. It has been a time of even greater division and tension between two different world views struggling for dominance. Another thing that was revealed is that our population is not clearly on one side or the other in this struggle; the split is roughly even. A lot of things happened over the last ten months, and people on both sides will rush to defend the positions and actions of their own side while denouncing and blaming the other side. This article is not going to address those claims because the point of Practical Distributism is to present the ideas of distributism to a world desperately in need of something better than what we currently have, and distributism is neither a liberal nor a conservative idea.[1] Therefore, I would like to address what I think is, from a distributist perspective, one of the greatest lessons of the last ten months, and especially the events related to the US presidential election that just came to a tumultuous end.
 

05 January, 2021

On the Foundations of Distributism: Property, Family, Politics, Economy. Part 1

The following is the English version of part one of an article/interview by Thomas Storck, “Sui Fondamenti del Distributismo: Proprietà, Famiglia, Politica, Economia,” published in Bollettino di dottrina sociale della Chiesa, July/Sept. 2020, pp. 73-84.

For information on the Italian publication, see here.